Reflection: Lesson Planning Writing and Solving Number Stories  Section 1: Creating the Word Problems
Today I was checking students' ability to read a graph, and to use the data to write a word problem that contained the information, a question and a solution.
Students often write the data, but then forget to ask the question. I was hoping that they would realize that they needed a question to make their word problem make sense. I also wanted to see if they could interpret all the data on the graph to be able to ask a question that made sense.
Several students wanted to compare two unrelated bits of information and I realized that this was something that I did not clarify for them. They wanted to relate the points on one person's leaf to the number of leaves on the branch of another person's tree. I had not talked about how this would not be a true comparison of the data, because the 2 were unrelated.
This was a check of my own teaching and understanding of what students knew. I was taking for granted that they would compare the leaves of one person with the points on the leaves of the same tree. This was something I didn't talk about with students prior to their working on the word problems.
It is easy to assume that students think the way adults do, but we must constantly remind ourselves that their understandings are different, their experiences are different, and if we want them to be able to do something, we need to make sure that we are clear with our expectations and directions.
Writing and Solving Number Stories
Lesson 13 of 14
Objective: SWBAT use class data to write and solve number stories.
Big Idea: We can apply math to almost every part of the day and make math have a purpose for students.
Creating the Word Problems
Yesterday, we gathered data outside on the number of points per leaf and the number of leaves per branch for different trees and bushes we found outside. Today, I start by demonstrating how to create a word problem from the data on these graphs. I find one student's data on both graphs and note how many points on the leaf that child found and how many leaves that same child had on a branch. I then ask how many points in all? I let students solve my math problem.
The data that students gathered has 1  10 points on a leaf, and 1  5 leaves on a branch. The numbers are small, but because I am expecting students to need to use repeated addition such as 10 points on a leaf and 5 leaves on a branch would mean adding 10 5 times, the numbers do not need to be double digit numbers. My focus for this lesson is on writing the word problem and knowing how to go about solving a problem that requires repeated addition. I am hoping that students will not try to add the10 points to the 5 leaves to get 15, but rather understand what is being asked in the problem.
Next I hand them a word problem form. I ask them to write 2 word problems, one on each side. We talk about what a word problem needs. I ask students if they know what a word problem needs. I take volunteers and I list their suggestions on the board for students to refer back to. I am looking for the information from the data(the story part such as I have a branch with 3 leaves and each leaf has 3 points), a question (how many points in all), a number sentence (3 + 3 + 3) and a solution (9). Students may make other suggestions such as upper case letters, question marks, numbers, etc. I list these as well if they are appropriate. If they suggest something not appropriate (such as a number grid) I might tell students that this is a tool someone might use to solve the problem but it is not part of the problem. The writing of the problem supports MP1 "make sense of problems and persevere in solving them," because students have to make a sensible problem from the data and also find the solution to their own problems.
I allow students to come up closer to the graphs of leaves and points that we created in yesterday's lesson if they need to, to look at one person's data from both graphs, or to look for connections from groups of the data.
I give students time to write and solve their own problems.
Resources (3)
Sharing

In order to give everyone a chance to solve a problem, I ask students to partner up and share their word problem with a partner. Each partner gets to share and solve 1 problem. I circulate around the room listening to the sharing and solving of problems.
At the end of the sharing time, I ask for 2 volunteers to share out one of their problems with everyone. I try to pick different types of problems based on what I had noticed as I circulated around the room during partner share.
Students work to solve these 2 problems and share solutions. The students who created these 2 problems have to solve each other's problems, and then they can circulate around the room to help others figure out their problems.
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 UNIT 1: What and Where is Math?
 UNIT 2: Adding and Subtracting the Basics
 UNIT 3: Sensible Numbers
 UNIT 4: Sensible Numbers
 UNIT 5: Everything In Its Place
 UNIT 6: Everything in Its Place
 UNIT 7: Place Value
 UNIT 8: Numbers Have Patterns
 UNIT 9: Fractions
 UNIT 10: Money
 UNIT 11: The Numbers Are Getting Bigger
 UNIT 12: More Complex Numbers and Operations
 UNIT 13: Area, Perimeter and More Measurement
 UNIT 14: Length
 UNIT 15: Geometry
 UNIT 16: Getting Ready to Multiply
 UNIT 17: Getting Better at Addition and Subtraction
 UNIT 18: Strategies That Work
 LESSON 1: Using A Pattern to Solve A Problem
 LESSON 2: Skip Counting Patterns
 LESSON 3: Extending Partners of 10 and 100
 LESSON 4: Patterns in Larger Numbers
 LESSON 5: Larger Numbers: A Tie to Social Studies
 LESSON 6: Doubles and Halves are Patterns Too
 LESSON 7: Smiley Faces and Up
 LESSON 8: Put It Together and Take It Apart
 LESSON 9: Pets, Pets and More Pets
 LESSON 10: Larger Number Patterns
 LESSON 11: Let's Review
 LESSON 12: Patterns in Nature
 LESSON 13: Writing and Solving Number Stories
 LESSON 14: Trimester Assessment Day